The most anticipated musicals for a year filled with diversity
2021 looks full of musical films that celebrate diversity through dance.
The production machinery of Broadway musicals exceeded its expectations despite the cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of that success is thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the arrival of his Hamilton on streaming platforms.
In a world lacking in dance and human contact, further adaptations to the big screen of some of the biggest musical hits appear on the horizon with great expectations.
Here are five of the most anticipated and their expected release dates.
Fans will have to wait until the end of the year to see the new version of Steven Spielberg's classic, a musical that adapted Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's book about the confrontation of two street gangs in New York City. Directed by Spielberg, the musical features a cast that includes Ariana DeBose, Mike Faist, Brian D'Arcy James, and Maddie Ziegler. It has already been delayed a full year so there are many expectations after seeing some of the promotional material.
The success of Lin-Manuel Miranda after Hamilton could not remain stagnant, but his new project is one that took off well before after his own success on stage. In this case, the stage is a Dominican community in Washington Heights, New York City, that has the same cast as Hamilton, led by Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Anthony Ramos, Spephanie Betriz, Jimmy Smits, and Dascha Polanco.
Another example of enormous diversity is Dan Gillespie Sells' and Tom MacRae's adaptation of Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, a television documentary that made a lot of headlines in 2011.
The musical has toured internationally in the UK and Australia, telling the story of a young man who overcomes prejudice and for an audience that celebrates such LGBTQ+ stories. The musical is directed by Jonathan Butterell and features actors such as Richard E. Grant, Max Harwood, and Sarah Lancashire.
Netflix also wants a piece of the musical pie and gave another opportunity for Miranda to become director and have a top cast with recognized actresses like Vanessa Hudgens. In this case, it is the adaptation of another great hit, the autobiographical fiction musical by Jonathan Larson, which won a Pulitzer and three Tony Awards.
Mulan's failure at the box office has not stopped Walt Disney from adapting live-action versions of some of his biggest hits, such as The Little Mermaid (1989). Directed by Rob Marshal with the original songs of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the trio also decided to contact Miranda to help with new pieces. The film is also a big subject on social media for its very diverse casting that bothered some because of its difference with the original, but many more celebrated. It includes Halle Bailey as Ariel, Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs, Akkwafina, and Noma Dumezweni. There is no teaser or trailer yet.